How to Create the Best Company Mission Statement

July 9, 2018
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Company mission statement

Creating a mission statement for your company sounds simple enough – just summarize the values and goals of your organization. But many companies stumble in the actual writing of that mission statement. After all, how do you effectively encapsulate your “why?”

What is the mission of your company?

Before you get started creating a mission statement, you’ll need to determine your company’s mission. For some, this is an easy exercise. For example:

We are a small software company. Our goal is to create innovative solutions for small-to-medium sized businesses that help them find the best employee healthcare options for their organizations.”  

That may be your company’s goal and what it provides to clients, but a mission statement should go beyond that to share what your company means to employees and to the community as well.

How to write a company mission statement

You may have heard the saying, “a camel is a horse designed by committee,” and, often, the more people you have working on something, the more it creeps outside of the scope of your original intention. However, in the case of company mission statements, it’ a great idea to get input from a wide array of people.

A good way to solicit this feedback is to survey employees. And there are some basic questions you can ask, including:

  • What are the unique products/services we provide to customers/clients?
  • What can we do that no one else is doing or what do we do better than anyone else?
  • What is the best part of working here? Why do you work here instead of any other company?
  • What do we contribute to our community and to the world?

Getting these insights from a wide range of people can help provide a fresh perspective and help you include ideas you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.

Once you have input, narrow down the following answers to these critical questions:

  • What is your “why”? What do you accomplish and who for?
  • What do you mean to your customers? If you’re just starting out, what is it you intend to do for customers?
  • What do you mean to your employees?
  • How do you contribute to your community and what kind of difference do you intend to make in the future?  

While it’s difficult to take all of that information and turn it into a brief paragraph or two that encapsulates the mission of your organization, one of the most important things you can do it judiciously edit and refine the information you’ve gathered. Don’t be afraid to start over if your final product doesn’t resonate with you. When you do find the statement that fits your company, add it to your employee handbook so it quickly becomes the cornerstone of your company.

5 great company mission statement examples

It is often helpful to have inspiration examples of truly effective company mission statements. While they’re not to copy, reading a few samples can help unlock your creativity.

1. Google

“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Since the beginning, the goal has been to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. Not just for some. For everyone.

2. Disney

The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.

3. PayPal

To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.

4. Kickstarter

To help bring creative projects to life.

5. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

To collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and stimulate appreciation for, and advance knowledge of, works of art that collectively represent the broadest spectrum of human achievement at the highest level of quality, all in the service of the public and in accordance with the highest professional standards.

The construction of your company’s mission statement is no easy feat. Those two to three sentences may read simply, but require real soul-probing to produce. Be sure to tap into a solid mix of feedback, take a pass at multiple drafts, learn from others who have done it well, and you’ll have a mission statement that engagees employees even on the toughest days.

About

Lynne MK Morioka owns Social Visibility Consulting where she is a writer, communications strategist and social media specialist working with businesses and consumer brands. She has a degree in journalism and more than 15 years of experience creating and sharing engaging stories. Lynne has come a long way since her first job as a cashier at Toys 'R Us, but is still a kid at heart.

Category: HR Tips & Trends, Culture, Entrepreneurship


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